No. 185 Todd Helton (Number 25 First Base)

I went to a lot of Sky Sox games in the 1990s and when Todd Helton came to first Andres Galarraga was at first and Dante Bichette in left. Helton played first in the minors. The way minor league stadiums are built I got to see Helton play first and bat close to the action. When Helton came up in 1997 the Rockies tried Helton in left field. This obviously didn’t work as they let Galarraga go as a free agent. Helton then was the starting first baseman.

Hilton didn’t disappoint. While he had two decent years to start. In 2000 he had his best year. He was first in batting average, on base percentage and slugging, the three most important hitting categories. Hilton never hit as good again, so he had his prime at age 26 which is normal. He did lead the league in on base percentage in 2005.

From 1999 to 2004 Hilton scored 100 runs every year. He also had a 100 RBIs every year from 1999 to 2003. He didn’t ever score 100 runs or drove in 100 runs ever again. In 2008 Hilton had a degenerative back which limited to 83 games that season. I bet the problem persisted as he played in 130 games only one time in his last five years. It might have happened sooner because in his last nine years starting at age 31 the most homeruns he hit in a season was 20. That was a long way from his prime when he hit over 40 homeruns and 50 doubles two straight seasons. Whatever the cost it makes his career as a whole a lot less impressive.  While close to 750 points in my system he wouldn’t be my first choice as a first baseman for the hall of fame below 750.



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